Question: “I hear that the government is planning to convert the Colt AR-15 rifle and all its variants to “prohibited firearm” status. Is that rumor true?”
Answer: Probably not. Converting the AR-15 to “prohibited firearm” status appears, at first glance, to be easy, under CC s. 117.15, which says:
- 117.15 (1) Subject to subsection (2), the Governor in Council (GIC) may make regulations prescribing [by Order in Council (OIC)] anything that by this Part is to be or may be prescribed. (The GIC is really the Minister, but they like to pretend that the Governor General and the Cabinet, who are members of the GIC, have something to do with it.)
- (2) In making regulations, the [GIC] may not prescribe any thing to be a prohibited firearm, a restricted firearm, a prohibited weapon, a restricted weapon, a prohibited device or prohibited ammunition if, in the opinion of the [GIC], the thing to be prescribed is reasonable for use in Canada for hunting or sporting purposes.
Read that “limitation” in CC s. 117.15(2) very carefully. It is designed to work in reverse to what it seems to be saying. The Minister can outlaw anything if, in his own opinion, it is not “reasonable for use in Canada for hunting or sporting purposes.” If he outlaws all .30-30 Winchester rifles, for example, no one can stop him